20 November 2019
Start your family tree on genealogy website FamilySearch and join the largest online family tree in the world.
FamilySearch is a global website that connects people all around the world, showing who your ancestors were, how they are connected to other FamilySearch users and allowing you to find out more about your relatives.
Build your family tree on FamilySearch with our step-by-step guide.
1 Join or log into FamilySearch
Get started at the FamilySearch home page then choose the ‘family tree’ tab and select ‘tree’ from the dropdown. Enter your name and date of birth then select ‘add father’ and ‘add mother’ to begin adding people to your tree. Add as many details as you can each stage, leaving anything blank that you’re not yet sure about – you can always fill in the gaps later.
2 Start to add ancestors
Your tree now has its roots! You can continue to build by using ‘add father’ and ‘add mother’ for both your own mother and father, adding new ancestors for each generation. Once you begin to enter details for people who are no longer alive, FamilySearch will check its 1 billion+ database to see whether there’s already a profile for that person. If there is you’ll be given the option to use that record by selecting ‘add match’ if you’re sure this is your ancestor.
3 Match with others in the shared tree
If any of your ancestors are a match on the FamilySearch database you’re in luck! This means that someone has already started to research part of your family tree, and applicable ancestors will be presented to you as possible matches. You can click on each ancestor for more information as you decide whether or not to add him or her to your own tree.
4 Use record hints
As your tree grows you may see a blue box beside a person’s details – this is a record hint, flagging up a document that may be relevant for the ancestor featured. Take care, as not all record hints are a match. Just click the blue box for more information and if you’re sure it refers to your ancestor, you can add the record to your tree. Just click ‘review and attach’ or ‘not a match’.
5 Add living relatives
Although the profiles of your deceased ancestors will be viewable and searchable to anyone, whenever you add the details of anyone still living, that information remains private.
QUICK LINK: Top search tips for the FamilySearch website
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